The supertankers that would service Enbridge's Northern Gateway pipeline would cross "Whale Passage", so named because humpback whales have been returning to it year after year for longer than science records. Whale Passage in Douglas Channel is a rich feeding ground for humpbacks that is unequalled on the North Coast.
Northern Gateway would increase the greatest risk factors for the whales by adding up to 400 supertanker trips per year to this relatively quiet stretch of water:
being struck by a ship
acute or chronic poisoning from hydrocarbon pollution
echolocation problems arising from noise pollution
pollution of food sources—tiny zooplankton and small schooling fish
Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) identified Whale Passage as critical habitat for the continued recovery of the whales. Humpbacks are listed as a "Species of Concern" by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. The concern is that if we don't take action to protect their habitat, they will slide into 'threatened' or 'endangered' status.
That's why we're asking you to tell the Canadian government to follow DFO's recommendations and protect critical habitat for humpbacks.
Send an e-mail to Prime Minister Harper and cc the Ministers of Environment and DFO